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How Rail Became America's Best Method of Transportation

A lot of innovation and trial and error must happen to make something better, and every day these processes are changing and advancing to become more efficient. This can be seen in the history of Rail and how it changed America and became America’s best method of transportation.


Background History

Innovation and invention are two ideas that collide to make something great and useful for the people. Travel by rail became mainstream in the 1800s when Leland Stanford, an industrialist, linked the tracks of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad in Utah. This act formed the transcontinental railroad. Eventually, the idea of traveling by train car from New York to San Francisco in just a week's time became a reality.


Affordable Travel

During this time in the 1800s, travel was made insanely less expensive and rail was a great advance that would save the American folks vast amounts of money. This made it a great method of transportation due to how cost-effective it was.


Present-Day

Given the brief history of rail and how it has evolved over the last few hundred years, it still holds up as the most fuel-efficient form of transportation. This was made especially true with the passing of the Staggers Act in the 1980s. One of the main benefits of this Act is that it helps to price routes differently. With this, the average rail shipper is able to move more

freight than they could over 40 years ago for relatively the same amount of money.


Rail has come a long way over the years and still checks out as the best method of transportation, from its history and innovation in the 1800s to its fuel efficiency present-day and its cost being relatively the same as it was in the 80s. What are your thoughts on rail being America’s best method of transportation? What are some things that you could talk about for hours regarding rail? Let us know!


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